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America Abroad

Sowing Chaos: Russia’s Disinformation Wars

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used the media to undermine foreign powers. Now, Russia is at it again. And while the goals are the same, the methods have changed.

Rumana Ahmed at the White House during the last year of the Obama administration.

SHORT: Rumana Ahmed lasted eight days in Trump’s White House

Caught between wanting to service, and frustration. Rumana Ahmed shares her story with Rupa.

Donald Trump promised Indian Americans that the US will be "best friends" with India.

How Indian Americans made Trump look good

Here’s the story of how Hindu Indian Americans became the largest group of people of color in the new administration.

Whose Century Is It?

Keeping up with killer technology

Drones have only been around for a couple of decades, but already, they’re reshaping the contours of conflict and raising ethical quandaries. President Barack Obama launched more than 500 drone strikes during his tenure, 10 times more than President George W. Bush. But Obama’s drones strikes killed far fewer civilians than did Bush’s intervention in Iraq. Still, how much should drones and robotics be used in conflict, and when, and what unintended consequences might this unleash? Peter Singer, Strategist at the New America Foundation and author of “Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century” talks with The World’s Jeb Sharp.

Women's March in Oakland, CA on 1-21-17  drew more than 60,000 people
Whose Century Is It?

Make America Kind Again

America became a global leader over the past century through openness, generosity, and soft power —the ability to attract, and to make others want to emulate your way of life, including inclusivity and equal rights. Donald Trump’s vision of America, as voiced in his campaign and reflected in his first words and deeds as president, has caused more global dismay than attraction. Will the Trump era mark the end of the American century? Listen in to hear some early takes.

Whose Century Is It?

How trust eroded within America’s democracy

Trust in government and journalism has plummeted in recent decades, particularly among conservatives. This wasn’t a coincidence, nor strictly a result of bad behavior on the part of elected officials or the press, says Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of “It’s Even Worse Than It Was: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.” He argues that understanding how we got here just might help Americans move to a better place.

Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping dons cowboy hat during his 1979 US visit, at the start of a new era in US-China relations
Whose Century Is It?

China, the US and the lessons of history

Talk about epic love/hate relationships. From the birth of the United States, China has loomed large in the American imagination, and America in China’s, for better and for worse, often with surprising twists. Build a wall across the Mexican border? That was first proposed to stop Chinese immigrants in the 19th century. Mao Zedong’s secret vice? American ‘kissy’ movies, to quote former Washington Post China correspondent John Pomfret, author of “The Beautiful Country and the MIddle Kingdom,” an engaging new history of what America and China have meant to each other’s citizens, as well as their governments, 1776 to now. And because this is a big and important topic, this is a long(ish) podcast — so break it up if you like. Want to hear about why the Founding Fathers admired China? Listen to the first 20 minutes. How America did — and didn’t — promote its values in China in the 20th century? That’d be 20:00-53:00. Challenges for US-China relations now and going forward? 53:00 to the end. Enjoy!

Whose Century Is It?

Who are ‘we’?

People have been moving around, and borders have been shifting around, for as long as there have been people. Who gets to say who belongs, and who doesn’t? Chandran Kukathas, who heads the London School of Economics’ department of government, argues that a free society should tolerate difference, and (relatively) open borders, and quit fearing Muslims as a group.

Tokyo's streets are still hopping, after more than two 'lost decades' of low or flat economic growth.
Whose Century Is It?

Alive and (pretty) well after lost decades, Japan has lessons for China

Japan’s economic growth is anemic, its population is aging and shrinking, and some Japanese wonder if Japan will still matter, as the century moves ahead. One way it does is as an example to China of what works and what doesn’t, in managing an economy at home and power projection abroad. Japan also stands as an object lesson: A rise that looks inevitable may not be.

Whose Century Is It?

American authoritarians for Trump

What polling data best indicates whether someone will support Donald Trump? It’s whether they skew authoritarian on a set of questions pollsters ask about child-rearing. (Hint: If you’d rather have an obedient, well-mannered child than a curious, independent one — you’re skewing authoritarian, as some 18 to 30 percent of Americans do.) Career political consultant Matt MacWilliams talks about his research, for a mid-career PhD, on the political impact of authoritarian impulses, especially in the face of threat, and what it might mean for America’s future.